Patterico's Pontifications


Glenn Greenwald: Is Obama embracing the lawless, omnipotent executive?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:26 pm

Unless I’m mistaken, I believe he thinks the answer is yes:

[A]fter a few symbolic (and potentially important) decrees in the first week, which I praised at the time — the Obama administration’s approach to civil liberties, constitutional protections and the reining in of executive power abuses has been absolutely abysmal.

Regular readers know I’ve had problems with Greenwald in the past. When he sock-puppets, or denounces you for failing to denounce others, there’s nobody more annoying. But at least he shows a willingness to be consistent on his views of executive power, no matter who is in office.

We can mock him for that other stupidity, but we can respect him for this.

26 Responses to “Glenn Greenwald: Is Obama embracing the lawless, omnipotent executive?”

  1. Glen who?

    G. Willikers (0e32ea)

  2. Screw Greenwald…wussy pillow-biting socialist. Hail Dear Leader Rush!

    galtisking (b802d9)

  3. That’s only one. What do the other two Gleens say?

    nk (502275)

  4. This does seem bad. All the more important for bipartisan efforts to control the executive: we can’t rely on new members of the executive branch to give up the powers that their predecessors claimed.

    imdw (8bb588)

  5. Ah, but we can hope for change! Like grabbing even more power.

    This is the change we can believe in. Don’t like Bush’s spending? Quadruple it! Don’t like the politicization of the White House? Move your campaign manager in! And take over the census!

    Yay, change! And hey, at least we’re going to close Gitmo. Maybe.

    Pablo (99243e)

  6. Hmmm…this place needs another czar. Get Al Gore on the phone!

    Pablo (99243e)

  7. Consistently stupid is still stupid.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  8. Anyone else suspect that comment #2 was left by some Leftist?

    JD (b527d1)

  9. David Brooks is going wobbly on Obama too.

    Joe (17aeff)

  10. A lot of mush Brooks has served up there.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  11. We should all be relieved that Obama has not moved so far Left so as to make the conservative Gleeeeens happy.

    JD (b527d1)

  12. Brooks (and Chris Buckley) should demonstrate that they still possess a final modicum of class by slithering off never to be heard from again.

    Greenwald is a lost cause, he’ll never shut up.

    ThomasD (211bbb)

  13. Rick Ellers does not approve of this post.

    A lot of mush Brooks has served up there

    As opposed to the mush he’s consistently been serving up for most of his career? He’s the worst kind of opinion writer – self – loathing coupled with a high self – regard. The end result is always muddle – headed thinking.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  14. Gren Gleenwald is a gentleman and a scholar.

    Rick Ellers (4fe80d)

  15. I denounce all of you racist homophobic haters.

    Why is it that you RethugliKKKans can find nothing better to do than to display your overt homophobia, rather than bow to the wisdom that is Gren Gleenwald.

    Thomas McEllerson (4fe80d)

  16. We think that Gleeeen is dreamy.

    Kabana Boyz (4fe80d)

  17. Mr. Gleenwald also had a distinguished career in the NY City judicial system, fighting for the underprivileged auto drivers wrongly issued traffic violations.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  18. I’m not willing to go quite as far as Mr. Greenwald on this.

    (1) I think that it’s possible that the symbolic moves are intended and that the news hasn’t reached to the level of the prosecutors involved.

    (2) I think the Obama administration may value prosecutorial independance enough to be unwilling to order the prosecutors to not make particular arguments.

    (3) I think a little bit over a month is too quick to be making judgments.

    But it doesn’t look good. Certainly what I wanted was a repudiation of the doctrine, and that hasn’t happened, and each passing day makes it less likely that it’s going to happen. Given that my belief that Sen. Obama would be more likely to repudiate than Sen. Clinton would be was one of the primary reasons I voted for him and against her in the primary, I’m disappointed.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  19. That is probably evidence of your latent racism, aphrael.

    JD (4fe80d)

  20. And can I just point out that aphrael is polite, civil, and makes his points without insult?

    As for you comment, aphrael, I was never a big fan to HRC, but I think she was far more ready to be POTUS.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  21. I agree with Patterico. And Rob Crawford. And broken clocks, twice daily. Which ends up being a better track record than the Gleen(s).

    Karl (0b58c4)

  22. Apropos of this thread, I had an annoying conversation with a classmate 4-5 weeks ago. He’d taken a leave of absence during the first semester of this year to go work on the Obama campaign in Florida; to be honest, I think that was a better use of his time (in terms of skills acquired and lessons learned) than not taking the leave of absence would have been.

    But he said that the Obama presidency was making him rethink his stance on things like warrantless wiretapping and Guantanamo because now that ‘our’ guy was in, it was different, because opposing these things was taking tools away from ‘our’ guy.

    I was furious … because I really think one’s views on things like the appropriateness of executive power, or of the filibuster, shouldn’t turn on who the parties in power currently are.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  23. aphrael, you need to spread that tale far and wide. That is how fascism really happens. When you think it is “okay” for “your guy” to do things that are unacceptable when someone else does them.

    The Golden Rule, as I see it, is to imagine those powers in the hands of your worst enemy.

    But then, I don’t see “government” as necessarily my friend.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  24. Aphrael, I agree that the appropriateness of the issue shouldn’t depend on who is in power, but I can understand how some may have trouble seeing that until the shoe has been on the other foot. Some argue you should make the government enemy-proof so that the other guy can never really foul things up too badly. Others think you should make it flexible so that your side can do its job. But unless you’ve been politically aware of the issue through at least one term with “your” guy and at least one with the “enemy,” it may be hard to see it in objective terms.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  25. #22 aphrael:

    because I really think one’s views on things like the appropriateness of executive power, or of the filibuster, shouldn’t turn on who the parties in power currently are.

    Nicely said. While I am not going to accuse you of being a closet conservative, you’ve just articulated the reason that conservatives (by and large) stress limited government.

    It isn’t that we don’t trust Lefties in governing, we don’t trust anybody!


    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  26. EW1 – Especially liberals, that claim to be moderates.

    JD (63d902)

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